JOHANNESBURG – The South African men’s hockey team kicked off their African Championship campaign with a hard-fought 3-1 victory against Namibia in Stellenbosch yesterday.
SA will have to get their act together or see their hopes of earning Olympic qualification go up in flames against stronger opposition.
The Proteas made several entries into the circle, but could not convert their opportunities into points.
The teams were goalless for the first half before SA finally landed a couple of shots on target.
First game first win 💪🏼 good to get our #AfricanRoadToTokyo campaign off to a winning start 🇿🇦🏑 we will build on this momentum going in to tomorrow’s game against Zimbabwe. 📸 Thank you to @eunicevisagie for the images 🙌🏼🔥 pic.twitter.com/scGft3hqB8— SA Hockey Men (@SA_Hockey_Men) August 12, 2019
Namibia ranked 65th in the world, gave the giants of African hockey an uphill battle yesterday. Dayaan Cassiem finally broke the deadlock in the 41st minute before Austin Smith landed the knockout punches three minutes apart in the final quarter.
It was a special win for one of SA hockey’s stalwarts with shot-stopper Rassie Pieterse earning his 150th cap.
Namibia scored a consolation goal at the death courtesy of Percy Barthram to give them a shot in the arm for the rest of the tournament.